Tuesday, August 30, 2005

about Elaine and some stuff from Democracy Now!

Good evening. I talked to Elaine before getting on to blog. I asked her if it would be okay to interview her for next Wednesday. Tomorrow is Jess.

But next week, fingers crossed, Rebecca's back at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude.
As happy as I'll be about that, I told Rebecca on the phone Monday that I was going to miss Elaine. Rebecca bragged about what a great job Elaine's been doing. She said when she first heard about Cindy Sheehan's vigil in Crawford, she thought, "And I'm on vacation!" But then she realized that this was up Elaine's alley and no one would be able to handle better.

I agree that Elaine did an amazing job and brought a voice all her own to Rebecca's site. Besides being best friends, Rebecca picked Elaine because she was really hoping Elaine would end up with the blogging bug and start her own site. C.I. and Rebecca have been on Elaine to do that forever.

This evening, I brought that up with Elaine but she was still saying that she was fine with filling in for Rebecca but she wasn't going to start her own site.

That got me to thinking that this Saturday will probably be the last time Elaine and I are both helping The Third Estate Sunday Review. I like Cedric a lot but it did take some space off me or a load to not be the new guy. And maybe that's part of why I'm sad that Elaine will stop blogging soon. But another thing is, she's a really important voice.

When I was talking to C.I. about starting my own site, I'd hear about Elaine and later I'd hear about her from Rebecca. There's a reason for that. She's smart and she's funny but she's also a firm advocate for peace.

This week at the news review, Jim & Dona came up with the idea of having two people discuss a topic. Ty was tired and just wanted to help with research. Kat was wanting to announce about Fiona Apple's CD so that just left Elaine, Ava, Jess, Betty and me. Jess really does the peace and activism report and that's his thing. I felt like I would just be standing there going, "Huh?"

And Ava and C.I. have their whole own wave length thing going due to all the writing they've done together so I wasn't wanting to do a discussion with Ava because I'd be like twice double "huh?" So that left Betty and Elaine. Betty's real cool and she likes to do the show biz report and all. Since I already did sports over there I wanted to do something a little more hard hitting.
And like me and Elaine was intimidating to me but she saved my butt at least once and she also brought up a topic that I thought she did just because she knew I had some stuff on it.

She's a really generous person.

So I guess I'm a little sad about that. I'm happy that Rebecca's coming back and she's got her whole own thing and own voice and all and she's a great friend. But like Rebecca said on the phone, "Ideally, Elaine would go off and start her own site."

Doesn't look like that will happen and it makes me a little sad.

But let's move to Democracy Now!

New Anti-Recruiting Coalition Forms in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, a new coalition announced plans for a national campaign to fight military recruitment of students of color in the nation's schools. Members of the coalition include Latinos for Peace and the Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools. The groups made the announcement at Salazar Park on the 35th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium, when 20,000 protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest the disproportionate number of Latinos being killed in the Vietnam War. Salazar Park is named after journalist Ruben Salazar who was shot dead by police after covering the Moratorium. The coalition is calling on students to sign forms that would block the military from receiving personal information about them as well as not to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.

Counter-recruiting is a serious issue. People are tired of seeing their kids lied to and seeing them sign up because there's not a lot of options in this country. They're also tired of seeing them killed. We've actually done a lot of outsourcing in the fighting. We get people from places like Puerto Rico and tell them they can go fight and they can become citizens. So Latinos are seeing a lot of casualities.

And if you think parents are angry, you should talk to the college students because I am one. We've seen recruiters play dirty tricks. We know people are dying. Recruiters don't want to talk about that. They'll even tell you, "Oh, you won't go to Iraq." Anything to make their quotas and people have had enough.

ACLU: FBI Has Designated Activist Groups as Terrorists
The American Civil Liberties Union has obtained internal government documents that show the FBI designated two Michigan activist groups as potentially being "involved in terrorist activities." One of the groups is the anti-war organization Direct Action. The second group is called By Any Means Necessary - it is a national organization dedicated to defending affirmative action, integration, and other gains of the civil rights movement. ACLU staff attorney Ben Wizner said "When the FBI and local law enforcement identify affirmative action advocates as potential terrorists, every American has cause for concern." The ACLU has been conducting an investigation into whether the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces has been engaged in political surveillance. As part of this investigation the ACLU has learned that the FBI has collected thousands of pages of documents related to other activist groups including Greenpeace, United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Dad thinks this is disgusting and a sign of how backwards our country has moved. He says not many will even talk about it. But that it's a serious issue. So pay attention to it.

That's going to be it tonight. I've got to pick Nina up in about thirty minutes and I need to get ready.